Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jayhawks aware of Rice QB’s talent

Kansas linebacker Tunde Bakare drags down Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas linebacker Tunde Bakare drags down Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.


The Kansas University defenders know they will have their hands full this weekend in Houston when they stare across the line of scrimmage at Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue.

McHargue, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior who sits 48 passing yards away from becoming just the second player in school history to throw for 4,000 yards and run for 1,000 more, is what KU linebackers coach Clint Bowen called “a true dual-threat guy” and the Jayhawks have seen — and struggled with — plenty of those during the past few seasons in the Big 12 Conference.

“It’s gonna be the motif of the entire year,” KU coach Charlie Weis said during his weekly meeting with the media on Tuesday. “Most weeks, most of the opponents are running similar offensive schemes where there’s a good quarterback involved as a runner. We’re gonna have to do a better job tackling the quarterback than we did last week or else this guy will just gash us.”

History shows that the Jayhawks can handle McHargue. Sure, it came in a losing effort, but the Kansas defense was able to reduce McHargue to a passer for most of last season’s meeting in Lawrence. In the 25-24 victory over Kansas, McHargue gained just 18 yards on 12 carries, while throwing for 236 yards and an interception on 23-of-35 passing.

McHargue, who led Rice to five victories in its final six games a season ago — including a bowl win — has improved a lot since then, most notably with his comfort in running former Kansas assistant John Reagan’s offense.

“They do a great job of getting themselves in the best play possible and the quarterback is very efficient of running the total package,” Bowen said. “He’s equally dangerous running the ball, whether that be the designed quarterback run game, or scrambling and making a play when nobody’s open. And then he also throws the ball very well.”

In addition, McHargue’s consistency and accuracy jumped out at Weis, both while reviewing film from 2012 and while watching Rice’s season-opening loss to Texas A&M; two weeks ago.

“Statistically, they averaged 434 yards a game and 31 points (last year),” Weis said. “And the first game against Texas A&M; (they had) 509 yards and 31 points. So there’s a good chance that you’re gonna need 31 points to have a chance to win the game, although I’m sure our defensive staff is counting on that not being the case.”

In the opener against seventh-ranked A&M;, McHargue ran for 78 yards on nine carries and added 180 and two touchdowns through the air. But the Rice QB is far from the only threat the Owls feature. Running back Charles Ross — 94 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries last year against KU — anchors the ground game and talented receivers with good size give McHargue options down the field. In addition, the defense is led by Phillip Gaines, the Conference USA preseason defensive player of the year, and a host of other experienced playmakers.

“The thing that really gets you about this team,” Weis said, “is they have almost their whole team back and they have their whole coaching staff back. In college football, that’s a rarity.”

Kevin Short update

Weis said Tuesday he had no new information on whether cornerback Kevin Short would be available this weekend. Short, the juco All-American who transferred to KU from Fort Scott Community College, missed last week’s season opener and Weis said the 6-2, 185-pound potential starter’s status remained uncertain.

“I’ll let you know when I know,” Weis said. “He’s got some personal things he’s working through that were a little bit of a surprise to all of us towards the end of (last) week.”

Short was listed on KU’s updated depth chart as a second-string option behind Dexter McDonald.

D-Line movement

The second wave of KU’s defensive line has a new look this week. Starters Kevin Young (LE/T), Keon Stowers (N), Keba Agostinho (RE/T) and Ben Goodman (BUCK) kept their jobs, but the guys behind them were shuffled around.

Jordan Tavai moved from second-string RE/T to second-string LE/T and Ty McKinney, who was a co-second-team nose guard with Marquel Combs last week, now is listed behind Agostinho on the outside.

“Ty McKinney is playing really well,” Weis said. “And Combs isn’t getting many reps. So what we did is we bounced Ty McKinney out to end and moved Combs to the second guy. It gives McKinney an opportunity to possibly move from second (team) to (first) and Combs gets more into the mix. So we get two positive residuals out of that.”

Injury report clean

For the second week in a row, KU appears to be headed into battle with a healthy roster. Weis said Tuesday that no new Jayhawks had major injury concerns heading into preparations for Rice. That includes senior running back Taylor Cox, who limped off the field late in last week’s game but appears to be on pace to play this weekend.

“I don’t have anyone in that questionable range once again,” Weis said. “And it’d be nice if we can keep it that way.”

WOW! without CBSSN

Several KU fans in Lawrence figure to miss the broadcast of this weekend’s KU-Rice game, which will be shown on CBS Sports Network, because the city’s largest cable provider, WOW!, does not carry the channel.

“We haven’t carried the CBS Sports Network for quite some time now,” a WOW! employee, who did not wish to be identified, told the Journal-World Tuesday. “And we don’t have plans to add it before Saturday’s game.”

Those with other television services, such as DirecTV (Ch. 221), Dish Network (Ch. 158) or AT&T; U-Verse (Ch. 643), may be able to view the game as long as their subscription package includes CBSSN.

Ex-Jayhawk Green dies

Former KU football player Dick Green, a tight end who played at KU from 1959-61 and later became the president of KU’s K Club, passed away last Friday. He was 74. Green was a senior on KU’s 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl championship team, which beat Rice, 33-7, in Houston.

“He was a fierce competitor and a very smart guy,” said former Green teammate John Hadl in a news release. “He did everything you would ask of him and was there every day working his tail off for Kansas football.... He was a fabulous guy and we’re going to miss him.”

A memorial service for Green is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 4, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

Cornish honored again

Former KU running back Jon Cornish was named the CFL’s Canadian Player of the Week for Week 11 after rushing for 131 yards on 14 carries and catching six passes for 46 yards and a touchdown for the Calgary Stampeders.

Cornish, a native of Westminster, B.C., who is KU’s single-season rushing leader (1,457 yards in 2006), won the award for the third time this season.


John Fitzgerald 9 years ago

This Kevin Short thing is a little bit concerning. Hopefully he's not going to be another Pearce Slater situation. I'm actually surprised that nothing has been leaked about what's going on. Usually someone gets a hold of the information and posts it before we even hear from the coaching staff or reporters. I get the respect of with holding information especially if it's personal, but if it's a situation where we might lose him then I'd hope they'd say something sooner rather than later. Oh well, hopefully Short handles his business in an efficient manner so we can get him back on the field as soon as possible. He's crazy athletic and every KU fan, coach, and player knows we could use him.

BringBackMark 9 years ago

We've had way too many arrests, no-shows, disappearances, and just out right "not as good as billed" in this juco class. Players that come in as freshmen and are in the program for two or three years can pretty much be counted on to show up and you know what you have. Bringing in players that have played against lesser competition and are known to have some kind of issue to begin with presents a much bigger challenge. This is not a surprise because we've seen it from previous KU coaches for many years.

Hopefully, this was a one time attempt at a quick fix and now Weis can settle in and start recruiting and developing young talent. I'd have rather seen 20 red shirt (coachable) freshmen on the bench this year than 20 juco players. Even if it meant another one or two win season. At least the future would look bright.

Jonathan Allison 9 years ago

Oh yeah, and we DON'T have any arrests, no-shows, disappearances, and "not as good as billed" with freshman?

The difference is that more of the JUCO transfers come in with higher expectations that most of the freshman, and so we are more disappointed when something goes wrong or doesn't pan out.

So lets consder your accusations more closely.

Chris Marten (Juco) was a bad egg and is gone. Same could be said now for Omigie (3 or 4 year guy). Arrests? How about Nick Sizemore... 4 or 5 year guy arrested on DUI and suspended 3 games.

No shows, I guess you count Pearce Slater (left for "family emergency, never came back). What about Huldon Tharp? He would have been a senior this season right? Decided to hang it up because he'd been injured and probably wouldn't have played much. Do you hold that against him? I don't.

Disappearance? Let's withhold judgment on Kevin Short until something actually happens. He's listed as second string on the depth chart this week. He'll probably be back soon but we don't anything now.

And how about your "not as good as billed" grouping? We were 1-11 last year, 2-10 the year before and 3-9 the year before that. That's not as good as billed, and that's exactly why we need these transfers here. Marquel Combs has been here since June. It's not fair to bash him when he's competing against guys's who've played for the line coach, D-Coordinator, and trained under the strength coach for almost 2 years now. If he doesn't contribute in a big way this year it'll be shocking.

Micky Baker 9 years ago

Ford's TD being overturned didn't hurt, we scored a TD. That pick6 should have stood as the BIB was a pretty weak call.

The fumble by Sims hurt, especially since that resulted in SD's first TD. After that, SD mustered about 150 yards in 3 quarters of total offense.

I big miss was the pass to McKay early in the game. He should have caught that, then he would have to jump over the defender on the ground and he would have scored. The other was Mundine's miss the very next place. That was going for at least 30, but he could have broken that one for a TD.

The players just have to focus on making the catch. Then on the Jayhawk formation, the players have to execute better and that is coachable. The players need to make a few plays so they can relax and trust their abilities and they'll do a whole lot better. They were probably pressing a bit on Saturday.

Micky Baker 9 years ago

Obviously you haven't been paying attention.

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

"I'd have rather seen 20 red shirt (coachable) freshmen on the bench this year than 20 juco players"

Except maybe for the little bit about the entire D-backfield, half the OL, and much greater depth everywhere from the JC's.

If a player doesn't workout, it just means that you are carrying a JC for half the time. Maybe your reasoning is as sound as your apparent coaching selection.

hotrodm 9 years ago

Drop WOW cable NOW. They should find a way to show the game with Rice Saturday, if not drop them as your cable provider.

WoolyMammoth 9 years ago

I guess the Wow! subscribers will know how some of us felt this past weekend!

nuleafjhawk 9 years ago

Just a question - why so many articles within an article?

It's early in the morning and I'm confused as to whether to comment on Rice's QB, Kevin Short, the Defensive Line, the injury situation, which channels do or do not carry the football game, the passing of a fantastic Jayhawk (RIP, Dick Green), an update on another great Jayhawk (congrats Mr. Cornish), world peace or global warming.

I may have added a couple of my own, but that's a lot of info for "one" article.

Gotta go get more coffee.............

Lance Cheney 9 years ago

Once again, you've lightened my day with your posts. Haha. And Cornish is the real deal, I've noticed that since he was here. To me, he seems like a legit NFL back, I wonder if he'll ever make the switch to the big time. But then again, maybe it's just my Crimson-and-Blue-colored glasses that I'm viewing that with.

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

nuleafjhawk, let's just sum up all the topics that remain constant on this site.

1] Remove the track at Memorial. 2] IT'S THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, NOT..etc. 3] Jaybate is an Idiot/Genius...choose. 4] The new football/basketball uniforms look great/suck. 5] Kansas will go 1-11 or 2-10 or 3-9 or 4-8 or 5-7 or 6-6...anything past that I want whatever that person is drinking!! 6] Let's hope stupidmichael is scared on Saturday. 7] Tait is great and Newell is a jewel,

KURiggins 9 years ago

If I know Coach Campo, he has his plan together. He has limited experience/talent at LB which is my concern. The only reason the read option worked for SD is because our LBs did not seal the backside. Campo had a good plan, LB have to execute. Ben Goodman looks good. So does Keon S. Our DEs have to stay at home and LBs must seal that backside. I am confident Campo has a plan. A good one. He is a great Def Cood. Now he just needs his players to execute. There is an oldsaying in football. You make the most improvement between game 1 and 2. Will we win? Not sure. But we should learn more abouf our team. Things we know. We have a great running game. Not just in the Big 12 but in the whole country. Our Special Teams are much, much improved. And a lot of games are decided by special teams. Good field position, good FGs etc etc..Our depth at RB, by the way welcome back D. Miller anyone who does not think he is a beast is a fool. I was at the game, saw him up close, remember his FR year. Now he is back and focused and Coach Weis will only make him better. The kid has NFL type skills. However, back to Rice. We should find out more about our WR/TE's and our defense. Heaps is great, was great now people have to catch. Heaps is not the concern. He looked every bit the part of an elite QB. As far as our defense,folks need to chill Coach Campo is a great coach and I am sure did not show all his packages against SD. Why would he? Rice could scout it that way. He can coach, the schemes will be good. Does our defense have the talent to hold up...time will tell. No clue yet.

741hawk 9 years ago

Why do you guys bother with cable when so many more options are available with a dish?

texashawk10 9 years ago

Better deal at the time, if you live in apartments, you may not necessarily be allowed to have a dish, some people have had pretty negative experiences with a dish. There's plenty reasons why people choose cable over a dish.

KGphoto 9 years ago

How about a D.G. patch for the game? And then let’s go beat Rice 33-7!

KGphoto 9 years ago

All this talk about shuffling the two-deep on our DL, and it was 3rd string Tedarian Johnson who picked up a sack last week.

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

Goodman got a sack on like the 1st or 2nd play of the game.

I was trying to remember who was moved out of the 2 deep in the shuffle. Isn't it nice to even be thinking about good players being shuffled out of the 2 deep. That should really pay off as the season wears on.

KGphoto 9 years ago

DVR set to record. Direct TV baby!

HAWKS1 9 years ago

I don't recall seeing Turzilli on the field last week. I thought he really came on strong last year and he would be a contributor this year. Has good hands and size. Hope to see him play some this week. Ford and Coleman will really step up this week imo. Also, glad to hear Cox is good to go.....he's a big part of our run game!

Randy Bombardier 9 years ago

Well, I admit I am a little nervous about this game but also believe that we could control the outcome. I would like to see us establish a dominant running game before we even attempt to start winging it. If we are much improved in the penalty department this week we shouldn't be putting ourselves in the position to where we have to pass. And for goodness sake let's use the whole playbook. Coaches tickle me when they say they take it one game at a time. Oh year, right. That's why we don't open the full playbook. Every week should be coached as though this game makes or breaks the season.

Marcia Parsons 9 years ago

I always assumed they could only use the plays all the new players had mastered. It seems the whole playbook would be pretty overwhelming.

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

Charlie sets up the next game just like he sets up the next play with what he is calling. The playbook is open, but there are more than 80 plays, so not every play can be called.

KGphoto 9 years ago

Cornish is representing!

He’s also the 2012 Most Outstanding Canadian. Pretty cool award. So unless Buffalo moves to Toronto, I think he stays in the CFL.

KGphoto 9 years ago

nuleaf did I miss any?

Oh, yeah. Kevin Short. I’m betting it’s academic. Nose to the grindstone Kevin! whatever it is, work it out, like yesterday, and get on the field.

Micky Baker 9 years ago

That's what I was thinking, too. He was cleared by the NCAA to play, but I'm thinking it has to do with a class that one of the accrediting agencies has an issue with, not the NCAA.

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

CW said at the beginning that it is not academics, legal, disciplinary, ..., just personal.

KGphoto 9 years ago

And finally, the main topic. McHargue. Would I be out of line if I hoped Goodman makes him see stars in the first series?

nuleafjhawk 9 years ago

Very nicely done KG !!

It would have been absolutely perfect if you had thrown in something about world peace and global warming, but since they were my own additions - you hit the nail on the head.

Dyrk Dugan 9 years ago

this is one of the reasons i want to win this game....(and have some success this season). all of these negative reactions to our head coach. yes, he's brought some of it on himself....but he's our coach now....and have to trust Dr. Z.

KGphoto 9 years ago

And it could be that he didn’t really know what he had on the field in the first game. New base defense and tons of new faces. Throwing the entire defensive book out there may not have been an option.

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years ago

Hey, since you guys have nothing better to do, here's the link to vote for Big Jay in the Capital One Challenge:

nuleafjhawk 9 years ago

Good news boys and girls - we're the second lead story on yahoo news now, right behind Simon Cowell: “The Days of Squawking Judges Are Over!”

texashawk10 9 years ago

Good to know the AP writer paid attention to the game last Saturday. When did KU kick a second field goal because I could've sworn it was 31-14 and not the 34-14 the AP writer wrote.

texashawk10 9 years ago

The road losing streak is depressing, but throw in the 21 game losing streak to FBS teams is the one that really bothers me. It's been 2 years since KU beat Northern Illinois on that late TD pass from Jordan Webb. For those of you who tend to be very superstitious, there are some good signs for KU on Saturday against Rice. KU won their last game that was broadcast on CBS Sports, it was CBS College Sports at the time though, and that game happens to be KU's last road win against UTEP back in 2009.

Kenneth Hillman 9 years ago

Random thought and I know we have a road game this week but can we play "Light Em Up" at Memorial Stadium when our team is walking out on the field to kickoff. That would fire me up!!!!! I live out of town so they may already be doing it and I didn't know. Get the whole crowd chanting that chorus. That would be solid

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

Another good sign..rice is a grain that grows in swampy watered fields. Wheat is a beautiful golden sheaf that waves in the wind.

With rice, you can make, well.... rice. With wheat you can make Twinkies!!

Rice is named after William Marsh [there's that watered down field, again] Rice. Kansas is named after an entire state.

We are due....bigtime due!!!!

Lucas Town 9 years ago

Yeah, I read it. Part of it left me feeling like I should not worry about football season for a while, and other parts made me think that Weis might have something is store for KU, granted he sticks around for longer than 2 or 3 years. This team still has a long ways to go. I watched Rice and I am worried about that game. I know last week was the first game, but things are not looking good. KU should have destroyed that team. Weis' system, strong armed QB and home field against an FCS opponent and all. Road game or not we will beat Iowa State this year. Book it!

Bryce Landon 9 years ago

Here in Louisville, I get CBS-SN, so I'll get to see the game on TV.

TommieSmithElbow 9 years ago

. . . . O . . . . . K . . . . . . . ?

Reminds me of a joke that my brother brings up from time to time: When Ringo would write a song, the other Beatles would go "hey, look, Ringo wrote a song . . . isn't that nice and special? . . . . . let's go over and pin it up on the refrigerator . . . . nice job, Ringo!"

Sorry, Jayhawk_Unto_Death, at a little ribbing, but I'm not sure where you were going with your quote. It was amusing though!

texashawk10 9 years ago

And here in Houston, I'll be at Rice Stadium so I'll get to see the game in person.

Al Martin 9 years ago

My wife and I will be right there with you...

KURiggins 9 years ago

Sims to Rice. ....hope you are a good reader. Cause you will be seeing the name on the back of this jersey a lot as I truck over you! ..signed "The Real Deal"

Jim Jackson 9 years ago

Hoping things with Kevin Short are good. Anyone hear anything to the contrary? Tait?

Chris1955 9 years ago

Any of you going to be attending the tail gate activities at Rice? My wife and I will be there.

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